Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Ships sabotaged as Iran warns it is ready to fight

UAE FM confirms four commercial vessels targeted at Fujairah port Four commercial ships subjected to sabotage operations near UAE territorial waters, no fatalities or injuries reported
Patty Aguilar | 13 May, 2019, 11:12

The development comes shortly after the foreign ministry of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said on Sunday that four commercial vessels had been targeted in "acts of sabotage" in Gulf waters off its coast.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday expressed "regret" for the sabotage of commercial vessels and asked for more details "on the exact extent of of this incident".

The U.S. Maritime Administration said in an advisory on Sunday that the incidents off Fujairah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, have not been confirmed and urged caution when transiting the area. The UEA said: "the concerned authorities have taken all necessary measures, and are investigating the incident in cooperation with local and worldwide bodies".

He said: "Fortunately, the attack didn't lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels".

A senior Iranian lawmaker and head of parliament's national security committee, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, said yesterday that reports of "explosions" near Fujairah port showed the security of Gulf states was fragile.

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The White House said that move was aimed at countering "clear indications" of threats from Iran to its forces there.

Hours before yesterday's sabotage, Lebanon's pro-Iran satellite channel Al-Mayadeen, quoting 'Gulf sources, ' falsely reported that a series of explosions had struck the strategically located Fujairah's port.

The US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said it was aware of the report when contacted by Reuters, but referred queries to the UAE authorities.

The UAE says worldwide bodies are helping with the investigation.

The statement did not say who carried out the operations and made no mention of Iran, amid escalating tension in the region after the USA military sent forces, including an aircraft carrier, to the Middle East. He called on the worldwide community to ensure the security of oil tankers "to mitigate against the adverse consequences of such incidents on energy markets, and the danger they pose to the global economy".

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